Koraga community is considered one of the most primitive communities in India. They are the worshipers of Nature. They are very shy and do not mingle with outsiders. Koragas are divided into a number of exogamous clans or sects. The clan is known as the bali. There are 17 balis found among Koragas. The Koragas are basically agriculturists and their livelihood depends on forest produce such as bamboo, cane and creepers for basket making. Koragas sing songs and perform folkdances, rituals and magic to appease their deity for bountiful crops and to eradicate epidemics.
Koragas are experts in making baskets using creepers, canes and bamboos by splitting and weaving them artistically. Basketry is the main source of income of the Koraga tribal community. The skill of making baskets is transferred from one generation to the other. Even the children weave baskets.
I got to visit the community on a project and got exposed to their life. It was a touching experience as i met many Koraga Families. There life style has drastically changed. They were forest dwellers and lived in the forests. They don't have contact with the outside world. Now the state government has built them houses and also toilets. It has been a difficult process as they were unfriendly. Slowly they accepted the govt workers and today their life is better. But the Koraga community have a long road ahead.
I witnessed and met some strong women who fought to get toilets established in their homes. They are more friendly towards the outer world today and i hope we, the community can help such backward groups to have the basic facilities and rights in life.